Good morning! I am loving being back here in Chicago and trying to get myself back into my normal routine.
I haven’t always been a morning person. There was definitely a time when I would have preferred to wake up at 9:00am or gasp even 10:00am. But gone are the days of college and here are the days of “somewhat” adulthood. While I don’t wake up right at the crack of dawn each morning I have come to enjoy the actual routine that morning brings.
There are a few things I have found that can really help you get started on the right foot and set a great tone for the rest of your day.
Before you do anything else in the morning drink a tall glass of water. After a nice restful sleep, your body is dehydrated. By downing at least 16 ounces of water you help rehydrate your body, jump start your metabolism, and start flushing out toxins. I strongly believe that it is very important to hydrate all day long. When you start your day out with that first glass of water you truly set the tone for the rest of your day, making it easier to continue hydrating.
Enjoy a nice cup of coffee or whatever it is that you really love. Personally I love a nice black cup of coffee. I skip the sugar and milk and go right for the good stuff. For me it is less about the caffeine and more about the aroma and heavenly scent. When I prepare coffee at night I am already looking forward to my cup of Joe in the morning. This time of year I love a cup of pumpkin spice flavored coffee (not the latte). Add in a small teaspoon of coconut oil to jump start your metabolism and throw in a dash of cinnamon for a great morning detox and you are good to go.
I prefer to eat a small breakfast. I stick to somewhere between 100-200 calories and usually grab some form of gluten free cereal. The verdict on your morning breakfast seems to go back and forth so I say it is best to determine your own personal needs. Most mornings I do get a run and some other workout in so I like to have just a little something in my belly. I keep it minimal and make sure to give myself time to digest.
Some people can’t workout or run with breakfast in their stomachs and that is just fine too. What is most important is to determine what works for you. On the flipside, if you are doing a run of 5 miles or less your body might actually benefit from occasionally skipping breakfast before a run. Our bodies hold more stores of fat than we need and by running on empty you can train your body to delve into those fat stores and use them as energy. This isn’t just a tool for weight loss but also a great way to train your body to do this during long training runs and endurance races like marathons. Just make sure you consume a carbohydrate and protein combination within 30 minutes after your run or workout.
On the other hand, and I speak from experience, some people who skip breakfast go quickly from not hungry to ravenous. When this happens you might find yourself with a sudden blood sugar crash. The results can be pretty detrimental. Speaking from experience, you can end up in the kitchen eating anything and everything. That nice little calorie deficit you thought you would make in the morning quickly turns into a calorie bust in the early afternoon. Not everyone does this, but if you know you will (and I know I will) it is best to consume something in the morning.
Get a workout in! I’m not talking about power lifting or doing a Zumba class. I love adding in a nice workout that can be done while I enjoy my morning routine from the comforts of home. While my coffee is a must, the other thing I love about the morning is watching the Today Show. I just like getting all my news in with my favorite comical crew. So while I drink my morning coffee I get down on the floor and spend 10-15 minutes doing planks and other core exercises. I often throw in some upper body workouts with my free weights. In less than 30 minutes I have already done an upper body and core workout and I still got my coffee and news in. Even better it is just me and Al Roker so I might even still be in PJ’s and my hair is likely an unruly mess.
Getting that easy workout in, be it 10 minutes or an hour, really gets your day started on the right foot. By hydrating, eating a light and healthy meal, and getting a minimal workout in you won’t believe how ready you are to take on the world. Starting out with a healthy routine makes you more likely to follow the rest of your day up with other wise choices. It is easier to reach for nutritious foods and you will find that you have a ton of energy. This will likely leave you craving another workout and a lot less likely to skip that afternoon run.
What are your healthy morning habits?